Micheál Martin: Why were Garda figures falsified?

Micheál Martin: Why were Garda figures falsified?

FF leader Micheál Martin demands answers.

FIANNA Fáil leader Micheal Martin told An Taoiseach Enda Kenny that there are "fundamental" questions that are still unanswered over the falsified breath test records of An Garda Siochana.

Speaking in the Dáil during leaders questions yesterday, Mr Martin said that the Garda Commissioner, Noirin O'Sulivan, and the Minister for Justice, Frances Fitzgerald, both had questions to answer.

"We have not been told why the figures were falsified. The language in all the press releases is cautious, careful and designed not to tell us. Three years on from when this was initially told to the Garda by the Medical Bureau for Road Safety, we are told the Garda still has to try to find out what happened.

"We know that the Garda wrote to the Department of Justice and Equality in June 2016. What did the Minister do with that? Did she intervene at any stage up to last week? Why did the Minister for Justice and Equality not inform the Dáil about this issue?" he said.

Why did the Garda Commissioner not inform the Policing Authority? She met its representatives six times in the last year but did not inform them that an audit was underway nor of the scale of the revelations that were about to unfold. Why did the Minister, Deputy Fitzgerald, not inform the Dáil and intervene much earlier?" he added.

Speaking in the Dail later yesterday evening, Ms Fitzgerald said that the government was considering an independent, root-and-branch review into An Garda Siochana, which would be separate to the Gardai's internal review.

"As the Taoiseach stated earlier, the Government believes the level of public concern regarding some issues affecting the Garda Síochána is now so profound that it is time to conduct a thorough, comprehensive and independent root-and-branch review of An Garda Síochána. Quite a number of colleagues have already called for this.

"This is clearly a proposal that will require further detailed consideration by the Government. As the Taoiseach said, any such proposal should command widespread support in the Oireachtas and accordingly be the subject of consultation with the Opposition and, ultimately, approval by the Oireachtas," she said.

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